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I want to buy a nice CD of traditional Christmas Carols - sung nicely by
professional musicians. There are a million carol CD's when you go to
the store and I don't know how to choose. Last year I gambled, choosing
one that had a big selection of traditional songs, and it was horrible.
It was like someone had gotten their own 8-year old and all her friends
together to sing carols and recorded them. Now that's great, if you want
to record your own CD for at home, but I want to hear professional
singers, singing with beautiful voices when I buy a CD. You know, like
the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - really nice singing. So, if
anyone has suggestions for a good CD, I would love to hear them.
I've just let myself listen to my favourite christmas CD - well it is
December after all - and I'm very happy to share.
Its called ''NOEL, Christmas at Kings'' and is a recording of the Kings
College Choir from Cambridge, England. For me this IS christmas, and I'm
not particularly religiously orientated. Kings College Choir is renound
in the UK and beyond, and sings in the Christmas Eve service that is
broadcast accross the Uk every year. There are many recordings by the
Kings choir - and any of them will be spectacular, so don;t limit
yourself to this one!
Traditional Christmas Carol-er
Oprah is offering a free one - downloadable mp3's. The songs are all
If you can see the link - here is one (Theatre of Voices, a Paul Hillier
ensemble). There are two volumes of ''Carols from the Old & New Worlds''
I accidentally bought these at Amoeba and have loved, loved, loved them
for many years now. .
The group is exceptional (some shape note singing is done -- so it is
unusual as well). You won't hear more tired renditions of Silent Night
and Carol of the Bells....What you will hear are traditional carols and
less obvious carols arranged thoughtfully (for acapella) Cherry Tree,
There is no Rose, Hark the Herald Angels....
You can sample it on Amazon.
The San Francisco Girls Chorus has a beautiful Christmas CD. You can buy
it on their website www.sfgirlschorus.org
Loves Christmas Music too
Gosh, music quality is such a subjective thing. However, I have a pretty
large collection of Xmas CDs all of which I feel display professional
musicianship and great voices. Here are a few of my favorites:
*The Christmas Music of Johnny Mathis*
*Bing Crosby White Christmas*
*Merry from Lena [Horne]*
*Dianne Reeves Christmas Time is Here*
*James Taylor at Christmas*
*Stevie Wonder Someday at Christmas*
*Tony Bennett The Christams Album Snowfall*
*Mariah Carey Merry Christams*
*Whitney Houston One Wish the Holiday Album*
*The Andy Williams Christmas Album*
My daughter and I listen to the '50s and '60s classics: Ella, Frank, Nat,
etc., but our all-time favorite is Harry Belafonte's ''Christmas.'' He
performs both traditional and contemporary carols, with a certain
emphasis on Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as a real family that I think makes
it particularly good listening for children. The back-up chorus doesn't
really add to things, but Harry himself is wonderful; even an atheist
like me weeps when he sings ''The Gifts They Gave.'' Highly recommended.
Does anyone have a favorite album of Christmas carols to
recommend? I have several CDs of secular Christmas songs but
realized last year that I don't have any with the traditional
religious music. Thanks.
Don't have our holiday music out yet, but the cd I love best is ''December'' by George Winston. Gorgeous piano music, some secular, some religious. We listen to it every night of the month--no exaggeration--perfect for after kids are in bed or to help them unwind, too.
can't wait for ''December''!
This is really cheesy to admit, but the Time Life classic
Christmas CD set is terrific fun. There are a few I could live
without, but the variety of voices and styles make it
interesting. We originally ordered off an infomercial (!!) but I
think Time-Life has a website.
Hi Sarah - I can hardly believe I'm about to say this, but I was actually really pleasantly surprised by Clay Aiken's (American Idol) Christmas CD last year. It's called ''Merry Christmas With Love'' and about 1/2 the songs are not secular. He has a beautiful voice and it's not overblown.
a surprise Clay Aiken fan
I particularly like the two Christmas CDs done by the San Francisco Girls Chorus (website: http://www.sfgirlschorus.org/tickets/cd_library.html). The chorus has a gorgeous sound, and the songs they recorded aren't ''Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer'' type things, but traditional Christmas carols and Christmas religious music. Enjoy! SFGC fan
My all-time favorite Christmas carols came from a long-defunct
department store, but of those that are still available (and are
on CD): Johnny Mathis Christmas!!! His rendition of Oh Holy
Night has sent chills up my spine since I first heard it as a
kid. Joan Baez also has a christmas carol CD with some truly
haunting songs. Beyond that, I'd have to say that the old-time
crooner collections (which you can even get at places like
Costco) are pretty good. Johnny Mathis & Joan Baez are best
heard start to finish (or maybe this is because I have such
strong childhood memories), but the crooner collections can go
Chanticleer's ''Sing We Christmas''--Gorgeous a capella music from an SF group (the
only full-time professional choir in the U.S., supposedly!). All 5-star ratings on
Amazon, and justifiably so.
this page was last updated: Dec 16, 2008
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